Another Pharaoh Tut’s Mystery Solved – The Libyan Desert Glass, Produced by Meteorite Impacts

For those who didn’t know until now, Tutankhamun, or Pharaoh Tut, was an Egyptian king who was on the throne between 1,323 and 1,332 BC. His tomb was discovered almost intact back in 1922, and there, the archaeologists found various pieces of jewelry, made of some weird yellow glass know as the Libyan Desert glass. Up until now, this sort of yellow glass was a mystery, but it seems we got down to the bottom of it.

The mysterious yellow glass got the name of Libyan Desert Glass. As it appears, this was formed by a meteorite impact, sometime around 29 million years ago. All this information was published in the journal Geology. There, the scientists suggest that the canary yellow glass was, in fact, made up of a particular mineral called reidite. This mineral can only appear from a meteorite explosion that takes place in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Another Pharaoh Tut’s Mystery Solved – Libyan Desert Glass, Produced by Meteorite Impacts

Dr. Aaron Cavosie is the lead author of this study. He works at the Space Science and Technology Center for the Curtin’s School of Earth and Planetary Sciences. According to him, there were two opinions among scientists: was the glass formed by a meteorite impact or by an airburst? An airburst is what happens when Near Earth Objects explode next to our planet and manage to deposit some energy in our atmosphere. Cavosie showed that only meteorite impacts create high-pressure minerals, which is the source of this strange glass.

Although it may not seem like much, this is a significant discovery. The origin of this yellow glass has made scientists curious ever since the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb, back in 1922. The so-called Libyan Desert glass was present in a scarab beetle, as well as in other pieces of jewelry that were placed next to the most famous pharaoh, who ruled in Egypt thousands of years ago.

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Emmy Skylar

About the Author: Emmy Skylar

Emmy Skylar started working for Debate Report in 2017. Emmy grew up in a small town in northern Manitoba. But moved to Ontario for university. Before joining Debate Report, Emmy briefly worked as a freelance journalist for CBC News.  She covers politics and the economy.

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